Media Advisory For: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020
Contact for Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions:
Dave Bates, 347-865-8038, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT: Frontline Kaiser Permanente workers will shine a light on the sacrifices of D.C. area healthcare heroes with projected images and giant illuminated banner
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 10 at 6 pm
WHERE: Downtown Washington, D.C., contact email@example.com for exact location
Participants will wear masks and be socially-distanced.
Washington, D.C.- As a third COVID wave crashes over the U.S., frontline Kaiser Permanente workers will shine a light on the sacrifices of D.C. area healthcare heroes and their families during a nationwide day of action on December 10. The action will include projected images of healthcare workers and a giant illuminated banner.
This holiday season many healthcare workers will leave their families at home to provide compassionate care to their communities. As an essential part of the nation’s response to the out-of-control health crisis, many caregivers have been exposed to or infected by the coronavirus.
“During the pandemic I’ve volunteered to work extra shifts and weekends so we could care for all the sick patients,” said Carlene Gonzalez, a licensed practical nurse at Kaiser Tysons Corner Medical Center in Virginia and a member of OPEIU Local 2. “I also worked in the triage tent evaluating which patients should be sent to the COVID unit. I was exposed to a COVID-positive patient and that was a nerve-wracking couple of weeks. I couldn’t go near my daughter, husband, grandkids or elderly parents. I’ve had coworkers who’ve gotten very ill with the virus, and some workers have given their lives. All of us–nurses, techs, nursing assistants, dietary, housekeepers and every other Kaiser worker–are in a war zone and put our lives and the lives of our families on the line every day.”
In addition to D.C., actions will be taking place throughout Virginia, Maryland, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington State. They will honor Kaiser workers and also call for a Hero Bonus to recognize and retain staff.
“I treat up to 25 children a day, and always try to put myself in their shoes to make sure they feel calm, comfortable and welcome,” said Shanequa Green, a pediatric clinical assistant at Alexandria Kaiser Center in Virginia and a member of OPEIU Local 2. “As healthcare workers we took an oath to serve and care for our patients and communities. But we’re wrestling with our own fears and anxieties about the virus. I have four kids at home, and all of them are at high risk because of health issues. We urgently need management to recognize the sacrifices and hardships our families have endured.”
OPEIU Local 2 represents 8,000 working people in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. They work to defend and advocate for the rights of their members and all working people.
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions represents over 85,000 healthcare workers throughout California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Washington State. Their mission is to advocate for the highest quality patient care and good union jobs for local communities.